The Day the Music Died...but not my Everlast Batteries

It always made me a little bit angry when a song I loved was used to sell a car or a toothbrush. I had my own associations with the song and now those associations are ripped away from me. What used to make me think of hard times now makes me think about an extended cab or cross bristle technology.

Then I saw an interview with Moby. I didn't really have any associations with his songs but he said something that deserved some meditation. He sold his song to GM or Ford or something. He said at first his punk rock roots told him not to sell the song, but he knew that if he said no, they would just use a two bit impersonation of his song that would be easy to make. So he opted to sell the motor company his song and take the 150,000$ and donate it to the exact foundations that were trying to bring down the aforementioned companies. Props. I liked it. So here's the conundrum.

It still, had I had associations with Moby's songs, robbed me of my interpretation. After all, what is music for. If "Wind Beneath my Wings" is used in a Jet Blue commercial, Beaches won't make me cry anymore. This is a form of defamation. Why hasn't anyone sued? The song is being used in the opposite manner it was originally set out for... but wait, what light from yonder window breaks? Wasn't it created to sell records in the first place? Good point young sailor, but I argue not. See Tom Waits. Quality Art is not made to be profitable. I need to refocus. This tree branches erratically.

Which is it? Take the profit from selling your songs and put it toward the better-ment of all humanity, an acceptable charge, or leave the song be, for the better-ment of all humanity?

I owe this post to Modest Mouse and the song Gravity Rides Everything which has been used ineffectively in a car commercial. Ineffectively because I can't remember what company it is.